All Down the Line: Week 5

APTOPIX World Series Giants Royals BaseballIn a week when Chris Sale actually looked human, when Doug Fister looked like the pitcher he is supposed to be, and when Alex Rodriguez made a bit of history but pretty much did nothing else, you were either pulling your hair out or you were happy you made the right moves, regardless of what trends said was supposed to happen. No, I didn’t watch the fight, but I was happy that most of my players did well, even if Jay Bruce put up over 30 points on my bench this week. Sometimes that happens.

Most 2-start pitchers weren’t worthy of their seeming must-start status, and now Adam Wainwright is lost for the year, joining Brandon McCarthy on the shelf. And I feel for Masahiro Tanaka owners because we’re left wondering whether or not having him wasting away on the bench will ever pay off for us in the long run. The long run is pretty much the only hope we have with him right now. But week 5 should restore order and answer most questions about whether or not some streaks are still going on, and whether or not we can trust certain pitchers to deliver.

When it comes to hitters stick with the hot hand, UNLESS you have a must-start player in that position already. That’s why Jay Bruce sat on my bench while he racked up all those points this week. My other outfielders were all must-start players and all came into the week hot, and while neither of those three outscored Bruce, they weren’t so far off that I’m second-guessing my decision. Speaking of decisions, I’m here to help you make those difficult choices, because while statistics can tell a lot of the story, it can also be about momentum, figuring out who to start from week to week. It’s a weekly piece I like to call All Down the Line.

In each segment I will let you know three players at each position who should have a good statistical week. I’m not here to tell you to start Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout because you’re starting them regardless every single week. This is for those tough decisions you have to make on a weekly basis, so strap in and let’s go down the line(up)…


  • Wilson Ramos [WAS]
  • Evan Gattis [HOU]
  • Kurt Suzuki [MIN]

1st BASE

  • Joe Mauer [MIN]
  • Yonder Alonso [SD]
  • Mark Canha [OAK]

2nd BASE

  • Martin Prado [MIA]
  • Daniel Murphy [NYM]
  • Stephen Drew [NYY]

3rd BASE

  • Mike Moustakas [KC]
  • Trevor Plouffe [MIN]
  • Kelly Johnson [ATL]


  • Brandon Crawford [SF]
  • Ian Desmond [WAS]
  • Elvis Andrus [TEX]


  • Wil Myers [SD]
  • Jake Marisnick [HOU]
  • Josh Reddick [OAK]


  • Carlos Martinez [STL] 5/4 vs. CHC (Travis Wood); @PIT (Vance Worley)
  • Drew Smyly [TB] 5/5 @BOS (Rick Porcello); 5/10 vs. TEX (Wandy Rodriguez)
  • Dellin Betances [NYY] @TOR; vs. BAL

What I love about Betances is that he has good value even though he’s not the everyday closer, similar to Wade Davis and J.J. Hoover, and he will get the occasional save as well, growing his value even more. If you’re in a rotisserie league and he’s still available pick him up right away. He will help your ERA and WHIP, which we all know are difficult areas to make strides in. As always, send me any questions or lineup choice issues you have, and I’ll get to them before the next week.


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